If you didn’t believe Queens was giving Brooklyn a run for its money as the “It” outer borough, consider this: The NYC area now has its very own fashion-forward garment. From afar, Modcloth's “Lighthearted Cartographer Romper” looks like a breezy, button-down jumpsuit in an abstract print in pastel shades.
But up close, it’s all about Queens, baby: The design is actually an illustrated map of Queens, spotlighting not only the buzzy areas in the borough (Long Island City, Astoria, Ridgewood) but also those often overlooked Queens neighborhoods. (Maspeth represent! No sleep ‘til Bellerose! Woodside make some noise!)
Clothier to coolio and quirky ladies everywhere Modcloth (which, yes, is now owned by Walmart) unveiled the outfit as part of its spring 2019 collection, and even featured the romper in one of its catalogs for the season.
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We needed answers. Who was behind this print? Why Queens? Is a Bronx maxi-dress on the way?
The person behind the design is Julie Seltzer, senior print designer at ModCloth. Rather than being a tribute to her hometown, the illustration was inspired by the 1964 World’s Fair. (The company sees the event as a place where “women, young and old, could see the future of technological innovation and see themselves taking part in jobs that would contribute to the development of technology, design, and entertainment.” Plus: It has all that mid-century design aesthetic—like the Eames-designed IBM pavilion—which plays so well with the Instagram/Pinterest crowd.
So the map is really a sly nod to global event of ‘64, but as the brand’s spokesperson Emily Silber tells us, “Other boroughs like Manhattan and Brooklyn have been featured in fashion and home decor prints, it's about time Queens gets some love!”
Modcloth has created other pieces featuring maps of some sort, but none quite as specific as this one, and Queens residents have taken notice. “We've gotten some shoutouts from customers who are originally from and/or currently live in Queens. They're loving it!” says Silber.
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